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One third of Kazakhstan’s Fish Exports Sold by Poachers

Thursday 8 October 2015

ASTANA (Interfax-Kazakhstan) — Fish poaching has reached the industrial scale and significantly contributing to the depletion of fish recourses in Kazakhstan, PGO press office said.

“In 2012-2015, 30% of Kazakhstan’s exported fish is produced by poachers, or 13,700 out of 40,000 tonnes,” according to a Wednesday press release.

According to authorities, organized crime groups export the illegal fish catch through a network of dummy companies and forged certificates of origin. ‘The shadow turnover from fish exports amounted to $100 mln, and the amount of damage caused by poaching and tax evasion exceeded 15 bln tenge”, according to the statement (272.95 teng ≈ $1).

Poachers threaten Caspian Sea’s sturgeon species and consequently the caviar production. Sturgeon poaching Caspian Sea littoral states is 10-15 times the legal activity.

Until the 20th century, mostly impoverished peasants poached for subsistence purposes, thus supplementing meager diets. By contrast, stealing domestic animals (as in cattle raiding, for example) classifies as theft, not as poaching. The 19th century saw the rise of acts of legislation, such as the Night Poaching Act 1828 and Game Act 1831 in the United Kingdom, and various laws elsewhere. In North America, the blatant defiance of the laws by poachers escalated to armed conflicts with law authorities, including the Oyster Wars of the Chesapeake Bay, and the joint US-British Bering Sea Anti-Poaching Operations of 1891 over the hunting of seals.

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